Tap Room Reopening & Distribution Updates


“When is the tap room reopening?” We’ve been asked that question on social media, at recent events, and when you’ve peeked inside our tap room doors over the last few months. Your enthusiasm and support has been tremendous, and greatly appreciated. Thank you! We’re working hard to make beer and putting the final touches on our tap room. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we would like to open the tap room in mid November (if not sooner, fingers crossed!) followed by a grand reopening party. Once we clear the last few hurdles, we’ll communicate the details when a solid timeline is confirmed.

After Speakeasy was purchased earlier this year our first goal was to ramp up production of packaged beer and reestablish distribution. Although we were still brewing during our transition to new ownership, the quantity was quite small and limited to San Francisco. Now that we’re on solid ground under new ownership, we’re focused on shipping beer throughout Northern and Southern California. Resupplying our home state is the first step. As our inventory grows we’ll look to expand distribution into regions where it was found in the past. It will take some time so we appreciate your patience!

As for the tap room, the change in ownership required new licenses and permits before the doors could open, which takes time. So we embarked on months of minor remodeling to improve the tap room space and operations, since there's no better time. Don’t worry, the tap room has the same look and feel you remember, but now it’s even better. We added some lighting, new tables and seating, created more space, and more that you’ll have to wait and see. Most of the projects are finished. Right now we’re working our way through San Francisco Department of Public Health permitting.

In the meantime we’ve begun our search for tap room beertenders. Are you interested in being a beertender? Do you enjoy talking about beer? Is it time for you to join the beer industry?  Read the job description on our career page, then send a cover letter and resume to taproom@goodbeer.com. We’ll be reaching out to qualified applicants in the next few weeks about open positions.

The tap room is close enough to opening that we’re also starting to tentatively accept reservations for room rentals and complete buyouts in December. If you’re looking for a venue to host a holiday party or special event, check out the private rentals page on our website. We have two rooms available for small parties and you can also reserve the entire space. Be one of the first people to see and enjoy Speakeasy’s new and improved tap room.   

Thanks again for supporting Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. We’ll have more exciting developments as we near the end of the permitting process and solidify future plans. For example, our list of beers for the tap room opening will include some longtime favorites and new releases. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get the latest updates.

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Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Secures Future with Sale of Company Assets

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is happy to announce that the company’s brewing equipment and beer brands have been purchased by Hunters Point Brewery, a new company founded by Ces Butner, former owner of Horizon Beverage Company in Oakland, CA. Beers by Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will continue being produced at the San Francisco brewery, securing twenty years of independent brewing history and tradition. The deal was finalized on May 8, 2017, and terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

“I worked with Speakeasy Ales & Lagers for five to six years as a distributor,” said Ces Butner. “We were one the first companies to expand their distribution beyond San Francisco. There was a tremendous amount of growth and interest in the Speakeasy brands. It was one of the best craft breweries we worked with and the beer quality is very high. I thought it would be a shame if the brand, and one of the few production breweries left in San Francisco, disappeared because of financial problems. Keeping Speakeasy’s San Francisco born and brewed tradition alive is very important to me.”

Sam Cappione has been appointed Vice President and General Manager to oversee all aspects of company operations. The eight employees who remained at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers during the sale of company assets will continue working at the brewery. Additional staff will be hired in the next few weeks and months to fill key positions in operations, sales, packaging, the tap room, and brewing departments. The tap room will be opened as soon as possible.     

There will be no changes to the Speakeasy beer lineup at this time. According to Ces Butner, “The beer quality will remain the same and we have every confidence that the current distribution network and territories will stay intact. We’ll be working closely with all the distributors. Right now we just need to revive the Speakeasy brands, and I’m prepared to do just that.”

The Next Perfect Crime: Murky Business APA

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is set to release its first new beer of 2017, Murky Business APA, the latest addition to the brewery’s draft only Perfect Crime Series. Murky Business APA is not your father’s malty American Pale Ale. The almighty hop takes center stage with a big juicy punch of tropical fruit.

Notes of pineapple, grapefruit, papaya, and lychee dominate Murky Business APA. A small amount of white wheat and flaked oats were added to give the beer some body, while a touch of rye and Maris Otter add a hint of spice and lightly toasted malt. Straw to pale gold in color, Murky Business APA is dry with no caramel sweetness, and finished at 5.3% alcohol by volume with 20 IBUs.

Speakeasy has never made a beer like Murky Business APA. While the brewery has created plenty of pale ales over 20 years, none of them have contained such a low amount of hop bitterness, which has been dialed down to an absolute minimum. Murky Business APA is focused on the delicious flavors and aroma found in Citra, Mosaic, and Nelson Sauvin hops.

Murky Business APA is the first beer created by Speakeasy’s new Beer Development Committee, from concept to recipe and brewing. The committee includes staff members from all facets of the brewery. They’re tasked with the research and development of small batch beers that could play a larger role in the company’s future.

Murky Business APA will shipped to Speakeasy’s distribution territories in small quantities when it becomes available. Follow the brewery's social media accounts for more information.

SF Beer Week Exclusive: Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-aged & Unfiltered

SF Beer Week is a marathon, not a sprint. Ten days of drinking sour, double, triple, and barrel-aged beers is wonderful, but exhausting, making it hard to reach the finish line. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will be your palate cleansing aid station. We're set to release Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-aged & Unfiltered, a small batch, draft only, limited edition of our classic session beer. The beer will debut at the SF Beer Week Opening Gala on Friday, February 10th, and then be released at the Speakeasy Tap Room on Saturday, February 11th.

Created exclusively for SF Beer Week, Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-aged & Unfiltered was aged on oak spirals and lagered for three months. Packaged unfiltered, the beer has a more robust body and a toasted oak character, with layers of honey and a touch of malty sweetness. German Magnum, Hallertau, and Saphir hops balance the malt with a crisp bitter finish and infuse the aroma with tangerine, spice, and floral notes. The beer is refreshing, delicate, and sophisticated.

“We love drinking all the big beers that debut during SF Beer Week, and we’ll be offering plenty of our own at events and the Speakeasy Tap Room, like barrel-aged Scarface Imperial Stout, Old Godfather Barleywine, and Fixed Fight Old Ale. But you can’t drink those beers all afternoon with friends and stay on your feet. You need a good session beer to extend the party. The additional lagering time, oak spirals, and 4.7% ABV, make Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-aged & Unfiltered an ideal choice,” said Brian Stechschulte, PR & Media Director at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. “

Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-aged & Unfiltered is a draft only release that will be distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Head to the Tap Room release party at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers on Saturday, February 11th. Bayview Pasta will be on site from 2-8pm and we'll be offering brewery tours. Visit our events page for a complete list of SF Beer Week events taking place at the Tap Room. 

New Cans: Big Daddy IPA, Prohibition Ale & Betrayal Imperial Red Ale

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is excited to announce the release of three new cans this fall, including their best selling flagship beers, Big Daddy IPA and Prohibition Ale. By popular demand, Betrayal Imperial Red Ale will also return in a can to Speakeasy’s Limited Series lineup. All three beers will be packaged and shipped to distributors in October.

Speakeasy started filling cans in 2015 with the debut of their Session Series, followed by Double Daddy Imperial IPA in the spring of 2016. The success of those releases, coupled with more consumer interest in canned beer, made canning flagship and seasonal beers an easy choice. Moving forward, Speakeasy fans can expect an even larger portfolio of canned beer, excluding barrel-aged releases.

According to Forest Gray, Speakeasy’s founder and CEO, “We’ve always believed cans are a better package. They don’t allow light or oxygen into the beer, they’re portable, and easier to recycle. When someone goes into a market to pick up a six pack of beer, I can’t find a good reason for them to walk out with something that weighs twice as much and provides the same experience, if not better, in a can."

Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA will be available year-round in cans. Prohibition Ale was the first beer Speakeasy bootlegged back in 1997. Year after year it’s been an award-winning staple, recently receiving a gold medal in the amber/red category at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival. Big Daddy IPA joined Speakeasy’s lineup in 1999, and helped establish the popularity of West Coast IPAs.

Returning after a 2 year hiatus, Betrayal Imperial Red Ale will be Speakeasy’s first seasonal can release from October to January. “It’s a celebration of rich malt in harmony with aromatic hops,” said Zambo, Speakeasy’s Director of Brewing. The recipe was slightly tweaked, adding more hops and layers of malt flavor to make it even more delicious and memorable.

Fans of Speakeasy’s Limited Series beers like Betrayal can also expect a more varied lineup in the year’s ahead. According to Forest Gray, “We’re looking at switching some of the beers around to provide diversity and variety year to year. While it won’t be made this year, look for the return of Butchertown India Black Ale in 2017.”